General Admission

Pacquiao used to be an NPA

By Al S. Mendoza


THIS is serious stuff to BFF fans.

BFF as in Best Friend/s Forever.

In my youth, there was no such dinosaur as BFF.

But is there really such an animal as BFF?

OK, to cut to the chase, do you have a BFF?

Or, did you ever have a BFF?

I didn’t have a BFF when I was young—and that’s only a while back (ahem!).

What I had was a BF.

Don’t get me wrong.  I know what’s on your mind: BF as in Boy Friend.


I had a GF in high school.  Who didn’t?

But BFF?

None—or so I thought.

You, too.  We weren’t aware, maybe?

We all had a friend who we thought would be our best friend forever.

Lucky—happy—are those who had, indeed, a friend until the very end.

What I had believed in was we all had a special friend, from elementary up to high school.

I had kept mine up to college.

Even after I got married; after he got married.

And then he was gone.

He flew to the US with his family.  Disappeared.  Forever. Not a trace.

But life goes on.

I found friends in the office.

When I left the office, they were history.  All of them.

“That’s life,” said Atty. Bonifacio M. Sison of Mangatarem.  “We are all passersby here.”

After I retired, I found new friends.

Different names but same traits: warm, sincere, caring genuinely.

I realized that like the blades of grasses in a golf course, NPAs abound in this beautiful world.

NPAs as in Nice People Around.

Manny Pacquiao used to be an NPA.  Not anymore.

At least to Freddie Roach.

Why because Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer for 16 years, was dumped silly only a while back.

“What really hurt me was I read about it (his firing) in the papers,” said Roach, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease.

Pacquiao kicked Roach out in favor of Buboy Fernandez.

Buboy, Pacquiao’s childhood buddy from Bicol, is now training the fighting senator against knockout artist Lucas Matthysse.

Matthysse, from Chibut, Argentina, carries an amazing record of knocking out 36 of his 39 victims when he fights Pacquiao on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur.

Good luck, Manny.

Pacquiao didn’t give any reason for firing Roach, offering only the lame excuse:  “It didn’t come from me (the firing).  But the door is always to him (Roach).”

Roach, as decent as journalist Rustie Otico, avoided the door like the bubonic plague.

Thus, with one foolish act by Pacquiao, tossed out the window was not only a beautiful friendship but the most celebrated tandem in boxing, next only to the Ali-Dundee partnership.

With their friendship etched in stone, Pacquiao had an unprecedented eight world division crowns, Roach seven Trainer of The Year awards.

Pacquiao amassed billions of pesos, Roach millions of dollars.

Who’s to blame for the break-up?

Never mind.

All things must end—even the good ones, the BFF bull included.  I’m serious.

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